It’s really quite something what Sarah Burton can do with just ten looks. Granted, the intimate presentation at the gilded to the core Opéra Comique was so because Burton gave birth to twins just a month ago. The collection however was a moment of peace and serenity, an amuse-bouche, in the middle of a busy schedule, each look more extraordinary than the last and a welcome chance to pause, stare and marvel at what the McQueen atelier can produce.
From the Virgin Queen to the East End’s Pearly Queens to the Pope, they were all there. The models wore crystal-encrusted headpieces, making their heads look like exotic birds in cages. The first two looks had layers upon layers of white lace were with intersecting diaphanous panels, the frilly sleeves off the shoulders, the waists wrought in by silver corset belts, necklines painstakingly embellished with tiny pearls, the studded boots laced up at the back. These were followed by black studded leather, one with a white ruffled collar fit for a queen – Elizabeth I to be precise and the thought of the Virgin Queen in studded leather is pure McQueen. If that was Elizabeth in court the next two looks were Her Majesty on the battlefield – armour-like chain covered the entire body ending with the fiercest fishnets you’ve ever seen. The final looks were not even from this planet – gold-threaded and pearl-beaded bodices with wing-like sleeves collapsing into a floor sweeping skirt. These were so angelic and glorious they just took your breath away. Fashion week? What fashion week?